Opap to Pay Greek Government EU935 Million for New Licenses

Opap SA (OPAP), Europe’s biggest listed gambling company, will pay the Greek government 935 million euros ($1.3 billion) for an extension of its betting monopoly and a video lottery terminal license.

The 10-year extension of the monopoly will cost 375 million euros, according to an Athens bourse filing today. Opap will also pay the state 5 percent of gross profit for the 10 years through October 2030. The license to operate 35,000 terminals will cost 560 million euros.

Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos said last week he’ll raise 1.4 billion euros in September and meet a third- quarter target of 1.7 billion euros next month, as the nation struggles to meet goals set by the European Union and International Monetary Fund under the terms of a May 2010 bailout.

Venizelos last week revised down the state-asset sales revenue target for this year to 4 billion euros, from 5 billion euros previously, amid low stock values and delays in implementing the program.

Greece aims to raise 50 billion euros through 2015 to help pay down its debt.

Opap, of which the Greek state holds 34 percent, currently has a monopoly on sports betting in the country until 2020. The company will pay 474 million euros of the total terminal license value as soon as the final deal is signed and 86 million euros over 24 months after the permit is issued, according to the filing.

Under new gaming legislation Opap was granted the right to a license to operate a total of 35,000 video-lottery terminals, of which 18,500 have to be subcontracted. The bill went into effect Aug. 22.

A general meeting will be called soon, because the deal needs shareholder approval, according to the bourse filing.

Opap rose 3.1 percent to 7.78 euros at 10:43 a.m. in Athens trading, rising for a fifth day. Opap is down 40 percent this year on Greece’s FTSE 20 Index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Natalie Weeks in Athens nweeks2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Angela Cullen at acullen8@bloomberg.net

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.